James Merrill

1926–1995
James Merrill
The affluence of James Merrill's background—his father was a founder of the brokerage firm Merrill Lynch—allowed him a lifetime of leisure in which to travel, refine his sensibility and polish his poetic technique. The result is a body of careful work dazzling in its variety, wit, and inventiveness. Invariably sparkling on its surface, his poetry also has its depths and shadows, for Merrill suffered his share of heartbreak and loss. Among his most notable achievements is The Changing Light at Sandover, a multipart epic that uses a ouija board as a modern-day oracle.

Poems

What People are Saying

"With a $20,000 prize, I never imagined POL being this much fun. The competitions were more about meeting and talking with the other competitors, having a great time and enjoying the poetry. I also never knew I could find so much in myself just from reciting poems."
Elliot Davidson
2015 PA POL Champion